People’s Party of Punjab chief Manpreet Singh Badal on Saturday said Punjab seemed to be heading towards an early assembly poll as parting of ways between Akali Dal and its alliance partner the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) was visible, going by the fact that the government of Parkash Singh Badal had been totally ditched by the BJP government at the Centre headed by Narendra Modi. The Modi government had even held back the last installment of Rs 3,000 crore that was to be released for paddy procurement.
“During the run up to the Lok Sabha elections, chief minister Parkash Singh Badal had consistently tried to convince the people in the state that the fortunes of Punjab would change once the BJP came into power at the Centre with Modi as the Prime Minister. Now the CM must explain to the people as to what went wrong as Punjab is nowhere on the agenda of the Modi government and not a single demand has been met,” he pointed out.
He said what was matter of serious concern was that the Modi government had refused to respond so far to the submission made by the Badal government for compensating the farmers by allocating Rs 2,330 crore as drought relief. “The farmers had to incur high input costs by more dependence on diesel pump sets to irrigate their fields in the wake of scanty rain fall. It was apparent that either the state government had failed to represent the case properly or the Modi government had taken strong notice of the financial mismanagement and profligacy leading to wastage of precious resources of the state,” said Manpreet Badal.
He said the situation was not only ironical but also ridiculous as a member of the Badal family, Harsimrat Kaur Badal, daughter-in-law of the chief minister, happened to be the minister in the Modi cabinet. “The people of the state had the right to know as to what was her role in the context of the Modi government, of which she is a member, rejecting every demand made her parent state so far,” he said.
He said the fixation of minimum support prices of the farm produce was a sensitive issue and the CM had been advocating all along that the Swaminathan formula should be followed by the centre which was pro-farmer. However, the centre was yet to respond to even this issue.